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13 years after launching, the Radar Imaging Satellite (Risat-2) crashes in Indian Ocean

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on Thursday that the Radar Imaging Satellite (Risat-2) has successfully re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere. On October 30, the spacecraft crashed over the Indian Ocean near Jakarta. The 300-kilogram probe was launched In 2009.

Isro stated that Risat-2 carried 30 kg of fuel for an initial designed life of four years and clarified that there was no fuel left in the satellite upon re-entry, so no fuel contamination or explosion is expected.

‘With the proper maintenance of orbit and mission planning by the spacecraft operations team in ISRO and by economical usage of fuel, Risat-2 provided very useful payload data for 13 years. Since its injection, Risat-2’s radar payload services were provided for various space applications,’ ISRO said.

It went on to say that the pieces formed by aero-thermal fragmentation would not have survived re-entry heating, and thus no fragments would have landed on Earth.

The re-entry was tracked by the Indian System for Safe and Sustainable Space Operations Management (IS4OM) facility, with analysis performed by VSSC and ISTRAC teams using in-house developed analysis software and tracking the object using Multi Object Tracking Radar (MOTR) at SDSC, Sriharikota.

ISRO went on to say that orbital data from USSPACECOM was frequently used to predict re-entry time and impact.

‘Risat-2 is a clear example of ISRO’s capability to carry out spacecraft orbital operations in an efficient and optimal way. As Risat-2 re-entered within 13.5 years, it complied with all necessary international mitigation guidelines for Space Debris, showing ISRO’s commitment towards long term sustainability of Outer Space as well,’ ISRO said.


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